How Dogs and cats take care of your mental health

Dogs and cats make us happier, reduce the risk of depression and provide psychological benefits similar to those of a great human friend

Have you ever doubted that your dog or cat was your best friend? The popular saying is not only out of doubt among the millions of people who share their life with a beloved animal. Science, in addition, now agrees with the lovers of these furry companions: living with beloved dogs and felines has psychological benefits similar to those provided by a great human friend. This article explains why (and how) cats and dogs ward off sadness and the ghost of depression, while increasing our self-esteem.

Friends with benefits: cats and dogs make us happier

Dogs and cats shed hair, they need care, play time, good quality food and veterinary controls, in addition to involving a financial expense. But, if someone still doubts it, whoever has a cat or a dog nearby has a treasure.

People who share their lives with dogs or cats are happier, have higher self-esteem, are more outgoing and suffer less depression, fear or worry than those who are not close to a loved animal. Friends with benefits: positive consequences of living with a pet.

The exercise routines that cats and dogs force into (not just through dog walks, but through play ) provide physical benefits and take care of our hearts. But, the scientists explain, the positive consequences of sharing life with one or more furry companions do not end here: dogs and cats take care of our mental health. They keep us company, reduce our fears, and make us feel better about ourselves.

Dogs and cats ward off depression

We live in difficult times (there is little doubt now!), With unemployment and job insecurity on the heels and real family financial puzzles to make ends meet (in the best of cases).

Sadness and depression are frequent travel companions in this scenario, sometimes so unflattering.

The good news is that sharing our days with cats and dogs protects against these psychological problems and makes this complicated journey much more enjoyable.

Pets provide many direct benefits to people, such as a lower risk of suffering a heart problem, but they also reduce the risk of falling into depression and improve our social relationships.

Cats and dogs: great furry friends

The team of researchers conducted three separate studies. In the first, a total of 217 respondents were asked about different personal psychological variables, such as episodes of depression, feelings of loneliness or the image they had of themselves.

In the second and third, conducted only with people who shared their lives with dogs and cats, the scientists investigated the social benefits of living with an animal and how it affected their relationship with other humans.

Contrary to what might be assumed, the social relationships, with other humans, of people who share their lives with cats and dogs do not suffer: scientists have concluded that those who live with dogs and cats enjoy emotional ties with other people in the same way stronger (and even stronger) than those without pets.

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